EnGIO – an environmental NGO which has played a key role in promoting green awareness and action in the Durga Puja season over the last decade – on Sunday launched the ‘Sabuj Para’ (Green Neighbourhood) programme in Sibmandir Club in south Kolkata, with the support of Vivada, an organisation involved in water transport on Sunday.
The programme is likely to be expanded soon in other city neighbourhoods adjacent to key clubs like Tridhara Sammilani and Suruchi Sangha. “This is a unique initiative to improve the environment of the city and we will definitely offer our technical and other support to the programme” stated Debasish Kumar, Mayor-in-council (Parks and Gardens).
Sandipan Mukherjee, Chief Environment Officer of the state environment department, welcomed the initiative to turn green awareness into action. “We have enough talk about awareness. While we need to continue, that it’s also high time that we convert awareness into action” Mukherjee said. “This can be a game changer. We need to come up and have our say in countering this foul environment for the sake of our own survival. There is no denying that polluted city air is significantly contributing to the burgeoning respiratory, cardiac and related diseases” said Kunal Sarkar, renowned cardio-thoracic surgeon.
A Sabuj Para mentor group, consisting of key environment experts in the state and country, will help the clubs in executing the programme. “We would like to devise a para wise strategy to improve local environment, in partnership with the local community. All the major aspects of environment – from maintaining green verge to energy conservation, from waste management to stopping water wastage to countering noise pollution – will be considered in developing the strategy,” observed Arunabha Majumdar, the convener of the mentor group.
Majumdar, a professor emeritus of Jadavpur University and former director of All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, informed that the strategy would be finalised on the basis of a benchmark survey carried out within the families falling in the command areas of the clubs.
Solar energy expert SP Gon Choudhury stressed that keeping in mind the issues such as global warming and climate change, the programme will try to promote solar energy and energy conservation. Aniruddha Mukherjee from the Environment Science department of Calcutta University observed that the programme would try to restore the fast-diminishing urban biodiversity, while eminent physician and former sheriff of Kolkata Dulal Bose stressed on the need to counter noise pollution through community awareness and action.